THE INTERNET IS an ocean of algorithms trying to tell you what to do. YouTube and Netflix proffer videos they calculate you’ll watch. Facebook and Twitter filter and reorganize posts from your connections, avowedly in your interest—but also in their own.
New York entrepreneur Brian Whitman helped create such a system. He sold a music analytics startup called The Echo Nest to Spotify in 2014, bolstering the streaming music service’s ability to recommend new songs from a person’s past listening. Whitman says he saw clear evidence of algorithms’ value at Spotify. But he founded his current startup, Canopy, after becoming fearful of their downsides.
Myspace has apparently lost most or all of the music files uploaded by its users before 2015, and it told users that the data was corrupted beyond repair during a server migration. Myspace apparently admitted the problem to concerned users seven or eight months ago, but so few people noticed that there wasn’t any news coverage until the past 24 hours.
A new interactive light exhibit may be coming to the Toronto Zoo next winter, but only if it can persuade city council to approve a $5 million loan.
Zoo officials say the money would pay for the installation and raise awareness that the Scarborough facility is open year-round, according to a two-page proposal that will be considered at this week’s executive committee meeting. The light show, known as the “Lumina Experience,” would consist of interactive displays created by Montreal-based Moment Factory.
It’s been almost six years since an NSA whistleblower exposed the reach of government surveillance and one year since a Cambridge Analytica whistleblower revealed the influence of corporate surveillance, and the risks of something as simple as an online quiz. But the public has been hearing and sounding alarms about digital privacy for an eternity.
As work gets underway on a new industry-wide digital code of best practice, Katie Moffat outlines four fundamental principles underpinning a successful digital strategy.